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Old 3rd July 2009, 10:33   #1
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Default Having gone out to Reclaim their Life, Men are Back!

Circa 1998, Auto Expo New Delhi- My wife (then my girlfriend) and I first laid our eyes on teh Safari and we were smitten. But I had just started my career at that point of time and could not even afford to buy a Maruti 800, let alone this beast.

Many years and a few cars later, with the longing intact, I moved to Hyderabad in June 2007 in a new job. As part of my compensation, I was entitled to any car as a company car upto a certain value, and we realised that the Safari falls squarely within our budget. So, without considering any option, I told my finance guys to buy a Safari for me, and for me and my wife, it was a long cherished dream realised.

Two years and about 20000 kms later, that dream did not quite play out as we envisaged.

First the highs:

1. King of the road feel- this is unparalleled in the Safari- you gotta drive it to believe it. This mammoth gets you RESPECT on the road like nothing this side of a Shaktiman truck. Autos and bikers scurry for cover at teh sight of this beast in their RVM. The fact that mine was black accentuated this aspect

2. Comfort and space- Nothing this side of an Audi Q7 can beat the safari in this respect, and I am talking from personal experience of having driven, travelled in cars, SUVs across the spectrum. THis baby is supremely comfy, with just the right amount of lumbar and underthigh support at the front and the middle row seats are like the proverbial sofa.

3. Cruising ability on highways- Slot it in fifth gear, at speeds around 100-120, and it munches miles like nobody's business.

4. errrr....thats it

Now the lows:

1. The so called "Niggles"- Sorry but when you have a clutch replaced twice under warranty, a misaligned suspension from day one that took 5000 kms to set right, AC conking off (blown fuse) in 42 degrees temperatur not one, not twice but 5 times, rattles galore, EGR Valve replaced, four instances of oil seals replaced due to leakage and the piece de resistance- ECU failure at 1030 PM at night in puring rain, with your family on board, ostensibly on account of moisture in the ECU (i always thought this was suppoed to be a sealed watertight unit). i DO NOT term these as niggles.

And I am not even getting to the poor plastics, the cracked left side rear door panel, the screw covers falling off, Innumerable rattles, AC vents that have a mind of their own, etc. (these I can term nuggles and maybe live with)

2. the "Maagic Carpet Ride"- Sorry, but i disagree. the Safari has a soft suspension that gives it the illusion of a good ride at low speeds, but speed up a bit on an undulating road, and youwill remember your chilhood roller coaster. Body roll is also scary at best.

3. Brakes- Ummm....You gotta be kidding right! Does it have brakes? Oh yeah, maybe TATA put in some left over stoppers from the BSA MAch 1 cycle that I used to ride as a kid. Seriously, the WORST part about this verhicle is the brakes- inadequate, prone to lock up at the slightest hint of sudden braking, with fishtailing stepping in (one positive thing is that I have mastered the art of controlling the car by applyiing opposite lock)

4. TATA A.S.S.- I have no comments to offer, except to say that if a Safari owner is to experience such customer care and workmanship, tehn my sympathies with owners of other Tata and Fiat cars. I had a good experience only once when I took my car to Malik Motors for the first time, but it has been downhill ever since.

So in all, not an ideal way for a dream to pan out, and the last straw was teh ECU Failure that left me stranded. That is something i will not accept and that was the point that i decided to cut my losses and sell the truck. At this point it realised that there is a hidden drawback once more- Abyssymal resale value- but I decided to absorb the loss since i had saved a packet on taxes over two years thru company lease.

So it was Adieu Safari.....we had some good times but in the end the affair ended with a bitter taste in my mouth.

Now the search started for a replacement ........ (coming up)

Last edited by himanshugoswami : 3rd July 2009 at 10:50.
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Old 3rd July 2009, 10:38   #2
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I know. Mobike told me during the last lunch meet.

Anyways congrats man, its nice to have you back.


Am so happy you did not go with the earlier plan of the truck/ mini bus hurrycane combo
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Old 3rd July 2009, 10:47   #3
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Default part 2.....

For the replacement, we first listed out our priorities:

1. Reliability
2. Good A.S.S.
3. Good drivability
4. Safety features
5. VFM

In my hint for the replacement, my wife and I tested everything from an i20 to a Sonata Transform. the shortlist was:

1. Scorpio refresh SLE

Pros: Great engine, supposed to be reliable, road presence (not in the league of a Safari IMHO, but not bad
Cons: A.S.S. not exactly the best, Cramped, Bad handling and I just could not get myself to like the looks of the Refresh. Oh yes, and the plastcs- Man! what were M&M thinking- The plastics on this make those of the Safari seem plush, and that is saying something!

So, we decided that there was no way we were putting down 9.5 lakhs for the scorpio.

2. ANHC

Pros: we drove it, we loved it, we almost finalised it.
Cons: Price!!!! equipment for the price and GC. Maybe the Safari spoiled me, but I was very particular about this.

3. Jazz

well, we almost ended up in a divorce over this one. My wife loved it, I hated it. Period. Thankfully, for once, my view prevailed, but I cant take credit for it though.....

4. Fiat Linea.

Pros: Looks, engine, build, features, VFM - you name it, we loved it. though long and hard about it but decided not to because.....

Cons: ....of the fact that the A.S.S. would be provided by Tata. I have had enough of those morons and sadly, a great car got disqualified because of this one factor.

5. Grande Punto

Ditto as above

6. SX4 ZXi-

Had heard about the rattles etc, so went to a couple of dealer to drive theri demo cars. Both the demos had over 25 k on the clock and drove like a dream. no rattles.

Pros: Looks (we love it), GC, features (man!!), VFM (great price and great discounts), handling (seriously, take a couple of sweepers at 120 and you would know what i mean- for those familiar with Hyd, I did this at the stretch from KBR part to the TRS office), and of course Maruti's A.S.S.

Cons: visibility (rear and front a-pillar) but that is something I think I can get used to


So finally we settled on a pearl white SX4ZXi, bought the car from Varun Motors, Banjara hills. A word about the dealer. If anyone in Hyd wants to buy a Maruti, please give these guys a try esp. an executive called Dharan.

I have bought many cars for myself and my family over hte last 15 years, but I have never had a better saales expeirence.

Total discount 62,000, worked out to an OTR price of 7.62 lakhs.
Now the journey begins.....
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Old 3rd July 2009, 10:56   #4
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Congarts,Finally settled with Maruti SX4 Zxi.
It's VFM and car looks cool and manly.
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Old 3rd July 2009, 11:00   #5
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Congrats on the new car Himanshu, hard to go wrong with Maruti Suzuki. My own experience with GV can support that.

The last time I visited the service center in December 2008, this happened: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ml#post1104207

And the works manager told me not to bother them again until 20K. I haven't been there since.
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Old 3rd July 2009, 11:11   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by himanshugoswami View Post

So finally we settled on a pearl white SX4ZXi, bought the car from Varun Motors, Banjara hills. A word about the dealer. If anyone in Hyd wants to buy a Maruti, please give these guys a try esp. an executive called Dharan.

I have bought many cars for myself and my family over hte last 15 years, but I have never had a better saales expeirence.

Total discount 62,000, worked out to an OTR price of 7.62 lakhs.
Now the journey begins.....
Fantastic price.
Just 7.62 OTR for all those features and style.

I really wonder why they don't advertise this price more.
Even if the milage is low as claimed by some people the fantastic pricing will mean you don't really spend more in totality for this compared to say a City.
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Old 3rd July 2009, 11:13   #7
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Wonderful crisp review Himanshu.
I fully agree with you almost all all the cons you mentioned about the Safari. I, for one however, have 'not yet' been stranded. I have come to live with the other niggles you mentioned purely because of the fact that no other vehicle fits my usage and tripping requirements for the price.
However, though I have often read about it on this forum, I have never experienced any brake related issues yet. About the TASS and their diagnostic abilities, lesser said the better.
If you have been used to flying over potholes due to the Safari experience then you will have to tone down your driving with your new ride. But 'that' is hardly a compromise for reliability and peace of mind.

Its better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. You have come full circle.

Cheers,
J

Last edited by jaysmokesleaves : 3rd July 2009 at 11:14.
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Old 3rd July 2009, 11:15   #8
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Himanshu,

Welcome to the family. The SX4 ZXI isa great car. Wish you a pleasant ownership experience.
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Old 3rd July 2009, 11:24   #9
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Himanshu bhai, many congratulations for getting a lovely white sedan. Like a typical tbphian, i have to suggest immediately change the tyres and get some black finish alloys and you got yourself a mean machine

So finally the HDFC thing worked out..huh?

I can't wait to test drive your white beast tomorrow evening. And, the downside is i got another competition on our highway drives...Sigh !!!

Cheers and Drive Safe

Last edited by mobike008 : 3rd July 2009 at 11:27.
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Old 3rd July 2009, 11:28   #10
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congrats buddy.
SX4 is the best SUV crossover sedan.
As soon as I saw that you are an SUV fan but are concerned about the interior quality of Indian SUVs (scorpio/safari).
I thought SX4 it is for you.

7.6 OTR is that with 12% tax? Looks too cheap.
Can you give a breakup of the prices and discounts?
My colleague bought an SX4 ZXI last year and it costed 8.5L OTR (with 12% tax).
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Old 3rd July 2009, 11:36   #11
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Great article(s) on both the ex- and present (cars). Your write up had me in splits and in tears at the same time. Yes the Safari does have exactly those pros and cons which manage to put a grin on your face and reduce you to tears at the same time! The SX4, I will take your word for it as I have zilch experience with it.

Congratulations on the new acquisition. Welcome to the world of us mere mortals who drive puny little cars and not trucks! Wish you many happy years of motoring in the new car.

Cheers,
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Old 3rd July 2009, 11:41   #12
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Quote:
Just 7.62 OTR for all those features and style.

I really wonder why they don't advertise this price more.
Ahem...A bit of this is due to the crazy negotiating that I did

Quote:
Its better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. You have come full circle.
Couldn't have put it better ....this sums it up nicely

Quote:
7.6 OTR is that with 12% tax? Looks too cheap.
9%- got this one in my own name

Quote:
The SX4, I will take your word for it as I have zilch experience with it.
its time we rectified this my friend!

Quote:
And, the downside is i got another competition on our highway drives
Given the fact that the truck used be riding on your Peted backside at times, yes, this may be true, let the games begin!!
Quote:
So finally the HDFC thing worked out..huh?
Actually, no, didnt go down that route finally. Will tell you what i did when we meet, but to tell you briefly, I got the loan at an effective rate of 1%- yes thats right one percent (in case you though it was a typo )

Thanks guys for all your wishes!

Last edited by himanshugoswami : 3rd July 2009 at 11:49.
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Old 3rd July 2009, 11:56   #13
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Himanshu, congratulations on your new acquisition. A very concise and well written piece you got there. Never could have imagined anybody who deals with legalese on a daily basis could be so concise

Quote:
Welcome to the world of us mere mortals who drive puny little cars and not trucks! Wish you many happy years of motoring in the new car.
And here I thought you drove a tank...two of them at that!!!!

Last edited by anurag_p80 : 3rd July 2009 at 12:02.
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Old 3rd July 2009, 11:56   #14
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Congrats Himanshu for the SX4..im sure you will miss the safari.Happy Motoring.
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Old 3rd July 2009, 12:02   #15
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Himanshu Congrats on the new acquisition. Sorry to hear that the Safari experience turned sour, here's wishing you loads of fun with your new ride!
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